JELI: People in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak must be prepared to face floods from now until March.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this was because floods would normally hit from December during the monsoon season, but this time, it started this month.
The Federal Government would continue to monitor and assist the five states, he said during a meeting with flood victims at the evacuation centre at SMK Ayer Lanas here yesterday.
Bernama reported him as saying that the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) was formed to manage a disaster in a more organised manner.
Later in Hulu Terengganu, Dr Ahmad Zahid said early preparations by Nadma and continuous flood simulation exercises involving villagers had prevented any flood-related deaths during the current flood season.
“The early preparations and exercises have also reduced damage to personal belongings and properties this time around.
“Nadma has also ensured there are adequate food at evacuation centres and forward bases,” he said after visiting flood victims at the Kampung Bukit Tadok relief centre.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Nadma was also ensuring that all flood-prone areas would receive early warning on rising floodwaters.
He said the flood situation was worse in Terengganu compared to Kelantan.
The number of flood victims in Kelantan fell to 944 from 263 families as at 4pm yesterday, Bernama reported.
Two ailing senior citizens were among 239 flood evacuees taking shelter at SMK Ayer Lanas in Jeli.
Che Idris Che Muhamood, 90, and Annuar Husien, 60, who was suffering from a stroke, were evacuated after their houses were inundated by floodwaters.
“My husband and one of my children had to take turns to carry my father as he could no longer walk, besides being visually impaired, since five years ago.
“We have to evacuate after the floodwaters rose to the knee before rising to waist level in late afternoon,” Che Idris’ daughter, Che Minah, 40, said.
Annuar’s wife, Halimah Ahmad, 55, said she and her 25-year-old son faced the same situation as they had to carry her husband for about 500m before reaching the relief centre.